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Veterans Seek Employment Opportunities [AUDIO]

Nearly 100 employers and service organizations converged on the Rider University campus this week for a unique career fair targeting military veterans and their families.

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Attendees included those out of the service for decades or a few months, as well as active soldiers who will be rounding out their service in the near future.

Veterans Career Fair at Rider University
Veterans Career Fair at Rider University (Townsquare Media)

Andrew Burk of Hamilton, a former diesel mechanic with the United States Marine Corps, said landing solid employment has not been easy over the past eight years.

“Trying to convert military service over to civilian service is pretty tough,” Burk told Townsquare Media. “In the last seven years, I’ve had six jobs.”

Burk’s concerns shadowed those of Browns Mills resident Jon Murray, who wraps up his service with the Marines in May.

“I need to relearn the language, from military lingo to civilian terminology,” Murray said.

Murray’s wife, Bracken, was also on hand for Thursday’s career fair, looking for opportunities now that the family can settle down for good.

“It’s very, very hard to really set a career being a military spouse because in two to four years, we’re in the next duty station,” she said. “I put my career on hold for him.”

Amazon.com, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the New Jersey State Police were among the employers who attended the event. Organizations such as Troops to Teachers and VA for Vets were also on hand.

Hal English, vice president of Hamilton-based Grand Bank, noted veterans and active service members have certain skills that can’t be picked up by everyone.

“You’re getting people that are so well trained and educated, more than ever,” English said. “They have communication skills, leadership skills and management skills that are deep inside them, and they don’t even realize it.”

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